Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Calf & Kid Cheese Pairing

If you are going to be inside, I can't think of a more lovely way to spend a few hours on a sunny and  beautiful Seattle Friday than to attend a cheese pairing by The Calf and Kid at The Pantry at Delancey.

Our first bite was a wonderful fresh Ch√®vre from Yarmouth Farms in Darrington, Washington.  This cheese was really good.  I gather that it is not widely available as it is mostly snapped up by local restaurants.  I can certainly see why!

Sheri Lavigne, the owner of The Calf and Kid, lead us through a number of pairings.  We sampled two cheeses at a time, local and a European cheeses.  The pairings were as follows:

Sheri Lavigne, owner of The Calf and Kid on Capital Hill, Seattle
  • Bucheron (Buche de Poitou --  Sevrebell from the Loire Valley, France with
  • Buche  --Juniper Grove Dairy from Redmond, Oregon
I liked both of these a lot, but especially the Bucheron.  I thought it had more zing than the Buche, but I would not turn down a nice slice of either of these goat's milk cheeses.
  • Camembert  --  La Petite Reine from Normandy, France
  • Dinah's Cheese  --  Kurtwood Farms, Vashon Island, Washington

Hands down, Dinah's Cheese was divine!  It's gooey and delicious and rich and one of the very best cheeses I have ever sampled.  I will be finding some of this to have at home and hoard and nibble and croon over, like the cheese miser I fear I might be turning into!  The French camembert was just cheese.  Decent cheese, but just cheese.  Dinah's Cheese is something much more special.  

An antique storage kitchen cabinet at The Pantry
  • Manchego  --  Esperanza del Castillo DOP from La Mancha Spain
  • Queso de Oveja  --  Black Sheep Creamery from Adna, Washington
Both of these sheep's milk cheeses were delicious.  The Waashington cheese was, to my taste, a little more 'gamey', which I like.  If pressed, the Queso de Oveja was my favorite.

  • Herve L'Equis  --  Herve Societe from Belgium
  • Red Hawk  --  Cowgirl Creamery from Tomales Bay, California
These are very delicious washed rind cow's milk soft cheeses.  The Here L'Equis is washed with beer and I could really taste the beer.  I think I actually liked it a tad better than the Red Hawk.  I will admit to being a big, big fan of Cowgirl Creamery and I was really surprised to find the Herve L'Equis more to my liking.  Just goes to show you that you always need to taste new items and taste them with an open mind (besides the open mouth)!

Our final pairings were:

  • Chiriboga Blue  --  Arturo Chiriboga from Germany
  • Point Reyes Blue  --  Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company from (obviously!) Point Reyes Station, California
And both of these were to die for!  Each was big and bold and melted unctuously over my tongue.  I kept going back and forth, trying a nibble more of each of them, and I finally decided that it was the Chiriboga Blue, by a hair.

We had wine parings to go with our delicious cheese plates.  The wines, all delicious, were:

  • Domaine Collin Cremant de Limoux
  • La Mascaronne 2012 Cotes de Provence
  • Puerta Vieja 2010 Rioja

Cosy garen entry to The Pantry
I wish you could have been there, too.  We could have sampled, and nibbled and compared notes.  What's your favorite cheese?